Practical Drivers License Test

  • 2017

  • Digital
    Apps and Software

Designed By:

Commissioned By:


Designed In:

New Zealand

Alphero helped VTNZ transform its paper-based practical driver testing process into a fully digital solution. Learner drivers access test information online via a desktop site, while assessors now use a tablet app to administer the driver test in the field. As far as we know, this is a world first.

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  • Driver Testing Officers can put their clipboard away and use the tablet app to manage their workflow. Once in the car the app's intuitive interface enables Test Officers to assess the driver while concentrating on the road, ensuring everyone's safety. The full lifecycle was considered with multiple stages of interaction - in the branch, outside the car doing safety check before the test, during the test and after. The users praised efficiency of the new solution which allows them to record information faster and more accurately than pen and paper. In practice, improved and transparent data recording resulted in a decrease of test result disputes and an incredibly high rate of data integrity - 99.9998%

  • Many Test Officers are non-technical users with a strong preference for the familiar. While the experience design had to be appropriate for a tablet app, it couldn't be a shock to the user. Extensive user testing was done throughout, from initial paper prototyping to testing in the field to validate the design. Hand positioning was critical for the UX navigation and layout to ensure that the user wouldn't inadvertently minimise the app during a test or jump out of an active task by mistake. Interactions for data entry were reduced to speed up use. The app visual interface is clear and easy to use. Colours and large fonts suitable for use in glare conditions have been adopted for easy way finding and tap-ability.

  • The app is used under pressure where time critical tasks are completed in a moving car, and with granular data to record. Safety for the Test Officers and the driver is paramount, as is keeping applicants' distractions to a minimum. The Test Officer needs to be able to divide their attention between watching what the driver is doing, what's happening on the road. The pacing of tasks was critical as the test officer must record the driver's performance during a step (such as navigating a roundabout), and not get behind in entering data.

  • Before making recommendations to purchase tablets for use by VTNZ, attention was paid to the comfort of use of the physical tablet given that the Test Officer would be holding the tablet all day. We tested weight, form factor, battery life and hardware button positioning. We also had to test spare batteries for overheating, and various tablet holders to minimise the potential for hand strain.

    Service has improved for test applicants. The test booking data is now available in an online system which fast tracks the initial paperwork that needed to be completed before each test. The Test Officer is also able to capture notes and illustrate points with diagrams during the test. The applicant receives clear, legible test results via email which can includes notes on their test, any areas of improvement and helpful tips for future driving.

    The desktop application has been designed to assist with day to day operations of the VTNZ Branch. Branch Managers can access the daily schedules of individual Testing Officers and manage work rosters more effectively, in addition to viewing relevant details of test outcomes. Replacing a paper based system means that customer-facing staff can view real time updates and results. They can access submitted tests and gain more clarity around scheduling of customers, improving the experience for themselves and for their customers.

    The entire process has been considered, and digitised end to end. This means that there is clean, usable data for all stakeholders through each stage of the licensing process. The data enables transparency of the process and efficiency in service quality auditing by VTNZ and NZTA.